Sunday, November 20, 2011

Healthy Holidays

The holidays are upon us! And while many of us are trying to eat healthier...often cutting out sugar, wheat, dairy, meat, even cooked food (!) for health purposes, sometimes our friends and family, who we love to gather with at this time of year, are not.

While it can be difficult to be around for many reasons: we may crave our old foods, or we may have given up something that we feel *everyone* should give up, I find it best to take a non-confrontation and non-judgmental attitude over the holidays, both with ourselves and our friends and family around us.

Over the years I have discovered some things that help:

1. Not making a big deal about different ways I eat. I find that even if I don't make a big deal about it, other people usually do. I just (try to) smile. This is not (necessarily) the time to convert others to my lifestyle!

2. Help in food preparation. It is nice to offer to make a vegetarian gravy, for instance, and vegetarian gravies can easily be made gluten-free by subbing potato starch for flour as a thickener.

3. Offer to make or just bring a dish or two that I know I can eat. Squash stuffed with rice and veggies looks beautiful, tastes delicious, and is often a hit with vegetarians and traditional eaters.

4. A big salad is often a healthy addition to a holiday feast, and not so very unusual (though sometimes lacking) so make and bring one!

The picture above is of a Raw Food Cranberry Sauce, which is delicious. It is gorgeous served in orange halves (the photo doesn't do it justice, it really is gorgeous!)

Cranberries are extremely high in vitamin C and A, and full of phytonutrients. When we do not cook them all their nutrition is preserved. To make the sauce above, I simply:

Juiced 3 oranges, saving the juice to add to the sauce and saving the orange halves to put the sauce in.

In a high speed blender (I use my vitamix), put

  • A package of fresh cranberries (washed)
  • Juice from the 3 oranges
  • 6-8 dates, pitted
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

Blend and fill the orange cups.

They are topped with Candied Pecans, which is simply chopped raw pecans mixed with maple syrup (not raw) and pumpkin pie spice. You can also use walnuts or even wild black walnuts if you have those around. (Here is a video of how we crack our black walnuts.)

I bet everyone at the holiday table will enjoy these!!

Happy Holidays!

In health,

David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

The Birch Center for Acupuncture
(412) 381-0116

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